Bible changes lives, guides action

Debra Whittington

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalms 119:105
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalms 119:11

While driving down the street one morning, Mark turned to me and asked if I was all right because I was so quiet and had a funny look on my face. I told him I was fine and that I was saying the books of the Bible to myself before I attended class that evening. I then proceeded to recite the books of the Old Testament I had memorized up to that point. He smiled and made a comment on how good it was that I knew them.

In the next few moments I told him about the different things I learned since attending my new class which is an overview of the whole Bible. The purpose of the class is to help us know a little more about the Bible and how it came into existence.

It may not be essential to memorize the books of the Bible,
but it is helpful to have a basic knowledge of where the books are located when a person goes to look up a Scripture. Of course there is always the listing of the books of the Bible in the front and many Bibles even include page numbers.

Still, I got to thinking and wondering how much I actually know about the Bible. I know it contains 66 books and that 39 are located in the Old Testament and 27 are in the New Testament. However, in all of those books is an abundance of truth that even with a lifetime of reading, I will never learn all it contains.

The Old Testament contains many well-known stories such as creation, Noah’s Ark, the Israelites exodus out of Egypt, David and Goliath and so many others. In the New Testament we read about the life of Jesus Christ, the birth of the church and how it grew, and nuggets of wisdom written to help new believers in their new walk in the faith. Most important, we read how men has a sinful nature and are separated from God, but Jesus Christ provided a way for us to have eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

One of my favorite movies is an old one titled “Hellfire”. It stars an old western actor known as “Wild Bill” Elliott. The movie starts with Wild Bill as a gambler in a saloon. Also in the saloon is a preacher who is trying to raise money to build a church. Elliott is accused of cheating and is about to be killed when the preacher steps in front of him and is shot instead. Elliott feels guilty because he knows the preacher is dying. He asks the preacher if he raises the money and builds the church if it will pay his debt. Wisely the preacher tells him that he has to follow the principles of the Bible and can’t use money acquired through gambling to build the church.

Elliott, guilt-ridden, agrees to read the Bible.

The next scene shows a new person, changed forever by the Bible. Now, Elliott is more determined than ever to build the church because he knows the truth found in the Bible. While the movie doesn’t come right out and say that he accepted Jesus as his savior, his changed life speaks for itself. For the remainder of the movie he talks to others about following the “rule book” as he calls it. I don’t want to give away the rest of the movie, but the changed lives speak for themselves.

The Bible transforms lives, but only if it is read and applied. Through reading it on a daily basis and meditating on the message it contains, our lives are changed for the better. The Bible is more than a rulebook; it is the Word of God that when read and applied is the gateway to the truth. When the Bible is read and applied, it transforms a person’s life for all eternity.